Currents News Staff
The Catholic world was shaken when a fire consumed Notre Dame Cathedral, sending flames and smoke far into the air.
For more than 20 years, Elizabeth Lev has worked as an art historian at the Vatican. She knows exactly what the destruction of this cathedral means.
“I think there’s something really quite remarkable about Notre Dame. Many people sort of took it for granted. Mostly what Notre Dame is, it’s a collective. It’s as Pope Francis said, it’s a historical jewel of a collective memory. It is a collective memory of faith,” said Lev.
She expressed that this collective group embraced good and bad days, strikes, riots, the French Revolution, secularism and even neglect – all the while standing tall.
“When Christian France, the eldest daughter of the Church, the first nation, to become a Christian, they built this amazing church on this island, dedicating their geographical center to the Mother of God.” Everybody helped. Everything was part, everybody was part of this. This is an expression of the people of the love of God,” added Lev.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, has made an appeal. He’s asking for help to rebuild this cathedral in five years. Worldwide responses and more than $800 million in donations have ensued.
“They rally around. Some because it’s a cultural artifact; some on their knees praying; some standing and singing. But you know what we’re looking at? We’re looking at a people gather together and that’s an ecclesial. So, it’s still doing its job bringing people together,” said Lev.